Women’s Disinformation Defense Project Announces $5 Million Initiative to Support Women Political Candidates Through Midterm Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, October 6, 2022
CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

Women’s Disinformation Defense Project Announces $5 Million Initiative to Support Women Political Candidates Through Midterm Elections

Women’s Disinformation Defense Project launches 2022 midterm election initiative with media tracking, social media platform accountability, disinformation training and resources for local advocacy groups

Women’s Disinformation Defense Project will focus heavily on elections in Nevada, North Carolina, Michigan, & Florida

WASHINGTON, DC — The Women’s Disinformation Defense Project (WDDP), a coalition of gender and racial justice groups led by UltraViolet, in partnership with A—B, EMILY’s List Action, Higher Heights for America, Kairos, The League, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Votes, and Women’s March, will begin a new campaign to combat disinformation and fend off racist or sexist attacks against women running for office in the 2022 midterm elections. The initiative entails at least $5 million for programs such as media tracking, ad campaigns, platform accountability, disinformation training, and resources for local advocacy groups through election day on November 8th.

Specifically, WDDP is focusing heavily on elections in Nevada, North Carolina, Michigan, and Florida, supporting women candidates against disinformation attacks, holding media outlets and social media platforms accountable for proliferating disinformation, and working to encourage voter turnout in support of the following candidates:

Catherine Cortez Masto (U.S. Senate), Lisa Cano Burkhead (Lt. Gov), and Ellen Spiegel (Comptroller) in Nevada
Cheri Beasley (U.S. Senate) in North Carolina
Gretchen Whitmer (Governor), Jocelyn Benson (Secretary of State), and Dana Nessel (Attorney General) in Michigan.
Val Demings (U.S. Senate) in Florida

With the overarching goals of protecting women candidates and voters in key states from the harms of disinformation and increasing turnout of women voters, WDDP is also engaging in rapid response mobilization, disinformation training, and polling in key states around the impacts of disinformation attack on candidates and the most effective counter narratives.

“Hundreds of women are running for political office across the country, including a record number of Black women running for Congress, governor and mayor. With midterms in close sight, it’s critically important to foster a political environment where women can safely participate in our democracy as candidates and voters,” said Bridget Todd, Director of Communications for UltraViolet. “Given that, media outlets and social media platforms have a responsibility to stop the spread of racist and sexist disinformation. This issue transcends political party lines. Political candidates will not have a fair chance to state their case to voters if platforms do not proactively remove content that intentionally misinforms the general public.”
Earlier this year, UltraViolet and the WDDP launched a national initiative dedicated to securing Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, including an updated media guide detailing how news outlets should cover Justice Jackson as a nominee.
VIEW THE GUIDE HERE: https://weareuv.us/mediaguide2022
In efforts to combat racist and sexist attacks against Justice Jackson, and to stop proliferation of disinformation against her online, UltraViolet also trained over 200 progressive activists about responding to disinformation attacks against Justice Jackson and distributed content to over 100 partner organizations countering right-wing narratives opposing Jackson’s confirmation.
Additionally, the coalition addressed news division heads, editors, bureau chiefs, and reporters in an open letter from 70 organizations, urging that news coverage of Justice Jackson should adhere to standards outlined in the media guide.

VIEW THE LETTER HERE: https://weareultraviolet.org/wp-content/up
In 2020, UltraViolet Action organized efforts to prevent the spread of racist and sexist disinformation targeting women candidates and voters. Initially designed to defend Vice President Kamala Harris and other women and women of color running for office, this work included:
Media accountability campaigns focused on de-platforming those that perpetuated racist and sexist disinformation, including the publication of a comprehensive media guide on how the media can cover women politicians and people of color in politics.
Calls to the DNC to block all Democratic presidential candidates with active non-disclosure agreements for sexual harassment and workplace abuse on debate.
Holding social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter accountable for the spread of racist and sexist disinformation, as well as the promotion of right-wing violence and QAnon conspiracy theories.
Popularizing the reality of disinformation attacks for voters and countering disinformation with positive messages to low propensity voters in battleground states. This included running a six figure ad buy in English and Spanish targeting young, Black, and Latina voters with turnout and pro-Biden content.

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